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Nazi hunters urge Croatia for swift action on alleged Auschwitz guard

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The Nazi hunting Simon Wiesenthal Center called on Croatia Thursday to urgently speed up its investigation into a 90-year-old suspected of being a guard in several World War II concentration camps, including Auschwitz.

Croatian prosecutors said last week they had opened a probe into the 90-year-old -- named by local media as Jakob Frank Dencinger.

Now, the Simon Wiesenthal Center has called on authorities in Croatia to move swiftly.

It said, in a statement, that it wanted Zagreb "to expedite the prosecution of Auschwitz guard Jakob Dencinger who was discovered living in Osijek",eastern Croatia.

The centre's chief Nazi-hunter, Efraim Zuroff, stressed that "people who served as guards in the largest mass murder factory in human history...do not deserve any sympathy due to age or to frailty".

"Most important, the victims of that terrible camp deserve that those who participated in the crimes committed there are neither ignored nor excused," he added.

Germany, the United States and the Simon Wiesenthal Center have been asked for documents that could implicate Dencinger in war crimes.

Dencinger has been living for years in Osijek, the same region where he was born and served in Hitler's notorious Waffen-SS.

He was allegedly a guard also in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, where one million Jews were killed between 1940 and 1945.

Local media reported that Dencinger lived in the United States where he was a businessman from 1950s until 1989, when judicial proceedings were launched to strip him of his US citizenship due to his Nazi past.

He then reportedly fled back to Croatia.

Dencinger's name figures on a list of some 60 people compiled by special German prosecutors in charge of investigating Nazi war crimes, according to the Jutarnji List daily.

Prosecutors were not immediately available for comment on the request.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140206/nazi-hunters-urge-croatia-swift-action-alleged-auschwitz-guard